Thursday, September 03, 2009

Another trip out to our waterfall/lagoon with friends to enjoy a swim. We tried to get a picture of me actually jumping off this cliff into the water below, but it didn't come out.

We had some chocolate cake, 'toh'-style (aka everyone eat the section in front of you and work your way to the middle). what can i say, we are all bush girls. who needs manners. or your own plate...
another truck that got stuck on the road back from the waterfall. rainy season is not kind to the bush roads out here. so glad we have 4 wheel drive.

in Bamako you never know what odd things the boys will be selling in the street to the passing cars. we thought this was funny and worth the $1 just because.

me, Reaiah and Leah

the market in downtown Bamako. Its madness. You don't want to go there unless its absolutely necessary.

The women washing clothes in the river in Bamako. Now the water is so high from the rains in the last few weeks that all of this area is under water.

stuck in traffic in the city, becoming more and more of a problem for us coming in and out of town

dreadful ants near our house that are particularly fond of invading Reaiah's room in the house. You remember the ants, don't you, Mom.

enjoying a delicious African meal with our family. oh yeah, just reach in there and grab a handful of yellow/green rice and shove it in. It really tastes much better than it looks. I promise. Ask my brother.

Our friend Leah and the son of our friend, Kono, who had the really bad infection in her hand

this sad little faced one lives next door. she decided she really liked wearing the head wrap one day.

Pastor Samiel and our favorite little baby girl at his house.

the women coming in from working all day in the fields. they carry everything on their heads. except for their babies, who are tied securely on their backs.

Leah tried out wearing a baby on the back...
and this is what she got. We're told its a blessing to have a baby pee on you. It means God will bless you with lots of children. Way to go, Leah. Blessings from God right there...

The local grinder. They grind their grain into flour, the shea nuts into nasty black stuff they use to make oil, anything at all that you might want to grind. This is your man. Saves you hours of pounding it by hand.

Little girl who decided I needed help putting my head wrap on (after she had pushed it off my head in the first place). I don't think she ever figured it out.

the niger river in bamako
Mariama, Pastor's middle daughter decided to sack race her younger sister one day. it was quite funny.

the younger son making tea for us. one of MANY rounds we typically drink in a day.

Pastor Samiel, two of the kids, Reaiah and our friend Leah enjoying their new favorite game of 'Uno'

Leah got a special treat one day. Pastor and the kids spent a while one night collecting and chasing termites. The next morning they brought us a bowl of crispy fried termites. Tasted kinda like fried chicken skin... Leah was not a fan. haha.

common sights of living in the village

driving into town, the market sits right on the street. buses, motos, and people make it difficult to get through town

booths are set up and the women bring their vegetables and merchandise to sell from small tables
we don't have much fruit in our area once the mangos are gone, this is a fruit stand in Bamako on the side of the road

the goatboys chasing their goats down the road

donkey cart

A storm blowing into town...

some of the cliffs along the road, when it rains hard there is a nice waterfall here

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

In Andrew's village: The Goonies (as me and Reaiah call it)

Andrew, his baby girl, and his son outside of his hut
me, Reaiah, our friend Leah, and Andrew while working on recording a story

Reaiah and Andrew talking about a story

a cool shot of the sun in the clouds from our back yard. these are baobab trees that are common here in Africa. these are kinda small ones; the big ones are centuries old and incredible to look at.
a little friend that was found by our neighbor kids one day. they brought it over to let us get a good look at it. have you ever seen a hedgehog before?!?!

as long as he doesn't know you are watching him he will crawl around, but then when he gets scared, he balls up and all you see is his spiky backside...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It's hot season. That means it's hot.

Not sure the temperature outside actually, but inside, under the tin roof I've been seeing over 100 degrees by mid afternoon. The inside doesn't cool off much unfortunately even after dark. We're really looking forward to rainy season...

During this last dry season we had a little improvements made on our house. Pastor Samiel had to make a whole new 'porch' for us and then added to it so we could keep the truck under a shade too. Also, without much in the way of electricity for fans to run off of, sleeping inside is simply... uncomfortable and sweaty. We've been putting up tents in the yard every night to sleep. The air cools off a good bit still at night and we're almost cold by morning, allowing us some decent hours of sleep before the sun comes up. However, it means we are still up and taking down the tents by 6 am since the neighbors are out and about by then and I just can't sleep comfortably with them walking around us. Hot season is so tiring...

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Most Awesome Non-Birthday EVER!!!!

So this year for my birthday... my most amazing teammate (pictured above with, yes, a boa on her head-- apparently the zoo lives across from the Rachels...) put together a SWEET birthday-non-birthday celebration for me (it wasn't actually my birthday yet). And here's a little of what went on...

First, my supervisor and one of the other girls took me golfing at what might be the best golf course in all of West Africa, located right here in our very own capital city. I got to wear PANTS in PUBLIC!!!! It was great. And I have missed getting to golf.
I have golfed many times in my life, but never, ever have I had a caddie. So, here in Africa, I experienced my first golfing with a caddie. He even knew the game and was giving me tips and correcting my swing in Bambara. We had a great time just getting away from work for a little bit.

THEN... all the girls showed up at the hotel/golf course and through me a surprize birthday party. Ballons. Cake. Possibly the best pizza I've eaten in Africa. and for my presents? a Dr. Pepper (NOT easy to come by over here). a CD of my favorite African rapper. and the Amazing Book of Spam. (me and Reaiah have totally embraced this marvel of modern cuisine as an acceptable addition to our meal options here and it totally grosses our boss out, so she mocks us frequently over it-- however, what she doesn't know is that the makers of Spam are quite witty and leave all sorts of little quips written on thier product. And now I have a whole book full of their incredible humor!)

Some of my friends getting their first glimpse into the awesomeness that is Spam. And loving it.

But that night they beat it all with this! I must explain. First, me and Reaiah have been talking about wanting one of these shirts since we got to Africa and started seeing them around advertising the local cell company. Second, I should tell you that a few months ago, after listening to our supervisor talk about how much she loved these certain signs in the market that advertised for the places selling fresh fish (I won't explain her attraction to it, just know that it was.), a few of us decided we would try to buy it from the shop that owned it. They tell us everything is for sale in Africa, so we thought we would test it. It took some work, but sure enough, the second guy we talked to let us buy the sign for his fish business. Since that day we have debated amongst ourselves if we could convince someone on the street to sell us something off of their person. A t-shirt from our hometown or alma mater. A pair of shades, whatever. Until finally, that theory was also tested. On the day we celebrated my birthday the girls passed a kid selling phone cards on the street wearing none other than the black 'Orange' shirt we had been coveting for two years now. Once he figured out they wanted the shirt and not the cards he was selling, he pulled it off and handed it over. They washed it before presenting it to me that night, but I didn't care anyways, because I think this might be the coolest thing anyone has ever given to me. And I realize that that probably makes no sense to most of you reading this.

Camping retreat with the girls outside of our village. Yeah, I said camping.

Natural bridge. Cool view over the town. Stinkin hard to get up there. But we did it. And it was AWESOME.
Told you we were camping out there. My favorite spot, near the waterfall. It was pretty chilly, but we had enough blankets to keep warm and some sweet hot chocolate off the fire.

You can't see him, but I'm holding our friend Curious George. He has had many adventures with us in the last year and we didn't want him to miss out on the camping trip.

Once again enjoying the sweet waterhole. diving from the rocks in to the FREEZING water.